Truthfully, I almost feel like "what Bar Mitzva". It all passed so quickly, and we became immersed in other stuff so quickly that I hardly feel as though I'm still in the Bar Mitzva mode.
On the first night of Rosh Hashana, we were invited to friends', which was fun -- the kids had other kids around, and everything was easy and friendly. The first lunch was at home, with a neighbor and a former neighbor with her girls -- the woman, who had been married to an abusive first husband, had remarried about a year ago, and #2 turned out to be abusive too. So the mother and her girls left Tzfat, and are living in a shelter in the center of the country.
I know that my kids are going through their own struggles and behavioral issues, each in their own way. There are some things that I can help them work through, and some that I just have to hope work themselves out. But watching this mother and her daughters brought home for me how crazy a home life can become -- the girls are withdrawn, acting out, and really pushing each other's buttons, not to mention their mother. What a struggle this mother has just to get through each day.
On the first day of Rosh Hashana, Hagai and margalit found a black Lab puppy at shul, and brought her home for "fostering". Luckily, a home was found for her almost immediately, because I really wasn't ready for another animal to move in, espeically not a rambuncous pup. (Though I had told the kids that they should bring her to our yard, rather than leave her to survive on her own).
But I am trying to keep to my Rosh Hashana resolution of trying to help whenever I can, without saying to myself "someone else will do it", no matter how inconvenienced I am. Obviously, there are things that I simply can't do, given the fact that there are 24 hours in a day, I live in a small home with 5 other individuals and their needs, and I'm only human. But I am trying to put myself out whenever it's possible, to help whenever I can. Because the truth is, usually, no one else steps up to do anything. So why not me?
The second night, we were on our own for the holiday, though Avishai had supper with a friend. Very nice to be with the kids -- we did all the "simanim" (symbolic foods) for the holiday, and margalit read the blessings on them, which made her feel special. The conversation was lively and fun, and the girls appreciated it being dairy, though Hagai complained. Afterward, I went for a walk with Margalit and we sat outside a neighbors' house where they were singing and talking till late in the nighttime, which kind of saddened me, because I'd like to do that too. But...
On the second day, I went to shul for services -- traditional services. After the alternative service, I guess I was kind of bored and not "into" it, but I did try. For lunch, we were invited to join friends for a barbque, which was fun. I made kebabs, some with meat and some with tofu. I've noticed that Ariella and Yochi are actually beginning to LIKE tofu. Good, because there isn't a lot to make for someone who won't eat meat, especially at a barbque.
Anyway, I got a bit drunk there. Darned pina-coladas. I have never quite figured out what the big pleasure in drinking is, because when I get drunk, I just go to sleep, which is what I did, on this neighbor's couch. But at some point, I made it to the bathroom and threw up, and I felt like a lot of emotional poison was pouring out of my body. It's been an intense year, this past year, and I have to admit that I started 5766 feeling a lot better!
This next month is going to be nuts -- holiday after holiday. The kids want to be taken camping -- a bunch of neighbors are going camping again, this time at the Kinneret, which is where my kids have wanted to go all the time. Livnot took their tents (darn 'em) so I don't know what I'm going to do about that. But I'll try to figure something out. And, of course, there's all the rest of the cooking, entertaining, preparing, etc for the holiday -- then, after Succot, two families which I'm very close to will be marrying off their kids, so I have to go to both, both of which are in the center of the country.
I'd like to go to sleep and wake up in mid-November.